Lucy N. (Pigeo / Piggie)

Little Lucy Littlepage makes her first documented appearance in the 1850 U.S. Census as Lucy, age one, almost two. Her birthdate was 24 August, 1848.1 That is her, approaching her first birthday a year earlier, sitting on her mother’s lap in the painting shown in Caroline’s bio.2

When she appears in her big sister Rose’s 1853 diary, now turning 5, she has lost the Lucy; she has become Piggie, Pigeo, or plain Pig. Thankfully a handwritten note by her name in a document about the Littlepage family shared by Ethel Jackson Ahern supplies the pronunciation. Lucy’s nicknames are derived from Pigeon, and pronounced accordingly. From whom that diminutive term of endearment sprang is a mystery. As Caroline refers to her only as Pigeo, Pigeo she will be.

From the “little children should be seen and not heard department,” Rose mentions Pigeo 23 times in 12 months; in none of her entries does Rose record her saying anything. Perhaps that accounts for Rose’s observation on 4 January that,

“Nannie is the worst spoiled child candidly I ever saw. Dear little Piggie is about one of the best.” 3

So what we learn about Pigeo from Rose’s diary is minimal. Pigeo goes with family members visiting or to church at Jerusalem. Pigeo has a dress made, had a bonnet purchased for her in Richmond. Pigeo is sick. But as Caroline’s journal opens Pigeo is 15, is becoming an accomplished young lady under trying circumstances, and certainly has found her tongue. Caroline will write her name in her journal almost 700 times over the next three years.

  1. Enumeration day was 7 August 1850. Her given middle name is somewhat a mystery; more on that later.  (back)
  2. The child is perhaps not John Toole’s best effort.  (back)
  3. Rose will change her mind about Nannie.  (back)